Top Help Authoring Software Compared: Flare vs RoboHelp

Madcap Flare vs RoboHelp, which authoring tool is the right one for technical writers and content developers? It’s a tricky question.

Afraid not, this blog will help you decide the best one for you. A detailed explanation of features for both tools and an in-depth comparison between the two will clear all your doubts. Let’s get started!

What is Madcap Flare?

Madcap Flare is a help-authoring application for technical commuters, writers, and content developers. With Flare, you can create technical documentation for online help, user guides, and software documentation. 

MadCap Flare lets you manage and publish these documents in a variety of formats. Whether it is print, online, desktop, or mobile, MadCap Flare is compatible with all of them. 

Here are all the features that you will gain access to if you choose this help authoring tool.    

  1. XML Editor

    MadCap Flare comes with XML and HTML editor. Although, XML editor acts as its primary editor. It makes content editing very easy. 

    You can edit and manage different types of documents with this editor. The editor’s UI is very similar to Microsoft Word.  

  2. Multi-Channel Publishing

    Publish all your content with one click of a button. Madcap Flare lets you produce it in different formats, that too with a single set of source files. 

    Whether it is the web, print, desktop, and mobile, the formats are very responsive. 

  3. Single Sourcing

    Single sourcing is a powerful Madcap Flare feature. You can reuse content and deliver diverse outputs from the same set of source files.  

    From topic-based authoring to snippets, variables, and conditions, these are some of the different ways in which you can single-source your projects with this tool. 

  4. Topic-Based Authoring

    Maximize the content reuse with Madcap Flare’s topic-based authoring. By content reusability I mean, XML content manages all the information and lets you dynamically structure personal data.    

  5. Content Import

    Madcap Flare lets you import different content types. It is compatible with MS Word, PDF, HTML, DITA, RoboHelp, and FrameMaker. You can import your project from all of these into Madcap Flare. 

  6. Responsive Layout

    The layouts are very responsive in Flare. You can manage your content on desktop, mobile, and tablet without any issue. Flare’s responsive editor will help you manage the layout, and it doesn’t matter if you have coding knowledge or not.

  7. Source Control Support

    Manage content and project files with Flare’s source control application. This software provides full support for applications, such as Git, SVN, TFS, Microsoft VSS, and Perforce. 

  8. Madcap Central

    Flare provides this cloud-based solution for project and content management.

    Upload projects, import them from other users, assign people to specific projects, set their statuses, and get notifications for activities. 

    This software is a complete solution for technical writers and content developers. It’s not compulsory to have proficiency in HTML/CSS or any other technology to use this authoring tool. With its excellent features, Flare has made it easy to manage content, that too without the need of having technical knowledge.


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What is Adobe RoboHelp?

Adobe RoboHelp is a help authoring application for creating and publishing content. With this help authoring tool, you can create a help-system, E-learning content, and a knowledge base. Adobe RoboHelp’s new version has responsive HTML 5 layouts, which are compatible with any device size.

Industry professionals use Adobe RoboHelp to create technical documents for their end-users. Although to use this software, you need to have some proficiency in HTML and other web-based technologies. Knowledge in visual basics, C/C++, Java, or Javascript is necessary for creating something advanced, like a custom dialogue box.

Here are all the features you will gain access to if you choose this help authoring software. 

  1. Multiformat Publishing

    Create content in different formats with RoboHelp’s excellent publishing capabilities. This software offers a variety of presets for users that are using different platforms. 

    Configuration of these presets is very easy, and its various settings let you create multiple help systems from the same project. That too with different layouts, content, and experiences. 

    That’s not all. You can generate project output even while working on it with RoboHelp’s 2019 release. 

    Here are the available presets in Adobe RoboHelp: 

    • Responsive HTML5 
    • PDF
    • Microsoft HTML Help 
    • Frameless 
    • Mobile App
    • EBook 
    • Word 
    • Content Only  
    • Knowledge base
  2. Intelligent Content Reusability

    Adobe RoboHelp helps you save time and effort by single-sourcing content within the same document or across multiple documentation. 

    You can make changes to a document once and reflect them everywhere with improved reference management and global snippets. Create a snippet within an existing snippet and seamlessly blend content from multiple sources.  

  3. Cleaner Project Structure

    The project and output structure are more organized and clean in Adobe RoboHelp. You will not face any difficulty in locating assets.  

  4. Efficient Content Reusability with Cross-References

    Adobe RoboHelp’s cross-references will let you reuse existing content like paragraphs, tables, and images from within a document or across multiple ones. 

  5. HTML5 and CSS3 Authoring Support

    HTML5 and CSS3 authoring support will enable you to create a profoundly immersive content experience. Adding a video, image, audio, text effect, and other elements to your document is very hassle-free. 

  6. Conditional Content Usage

    RoboHelp’s new conditional text panel lets you create rules and apply them to a topic, paragraph, or word. You can specify the background and foreground colors of conditions, which makes it easier to manage them. 

  7. Micro Content Authoring

    Create microcontent snippets with Adobe RoboHelp that you can leverage through search engines, social platforms, in-context help, featured snippets, FAQ, and chatbots.  

  8. Enhanced Properties Panel

    Adobe RoboHelp’s enhanced properties panel will let you adjust object properties with greater accuracy and ease. You will be able to see the transformation in real-time with every change.  

RoboHelp vs Flare: In-Depth Comparison

Adobe RoboHelp Madcap Flare
  • RoboHelp costs companies $1379.24 for a yearly license to use this help authoring software.
  • Flare’s 12 month license will cost $1,648,00.
  • This software creates all content files in XHTML format.
  • This software is perfect for those who have to maintain a large amount of documentation, both new and old. It will help you track individual content modules, which is very helpful if that content is getting reused by people for a more prolonged period.
  • Easy to use and can install on any OS
  • Possess considerable learning curve
  • The help content units in RoboHelp are called topics. These topics are a single unit of content. It can be a word, sentence, paragraph, or an entire page. Users can use these topics for creating formatted reusable help content, which is why it’s called topic-based authoring.
  • Flare focuses on managing content within its database. It ensures that the content is ready for different format use. There is no change in the content body. Flare only assures that it gets accurately presented.
  • RoboHelp focuses more on creating responsive documentation websites, not printed manuals. Produce beautiful-looking web pages with its templates, that too in a short time, because it auto-generates the code for the web pages.
  • If you have a team for technical writing, then this software can help you train them. Flare is very useful even for those who have to produce a large amount of documentation.
  • Provides support for multiple documentation websites, but hosting servers and websites will be your responsibility.
  • Flare is ideal for single-sourcing documentation, especially print documentation.
  • RoboHelp supports printed content, but it’s more of an add-on than an essential feature.
  • The learning curve is quite steep, and due to this, casual or average people won’t find this software appealing. Also, small to medium-sized companies might find the price too expensive.

What are Some of the Best Help Authoring Tools?

Although this blog’s purpose is to explain Flare and RoboHelp characteristics and their in-depth comparison, I don’t want to restrict the blog just on that. 

If you didn’t find RoboHelp and Flare an ideal fit for you, then here are two more different tools for your consideration.

  1. CloudTutorial

    CloudTutorial Logo

    Best for building an advanced online help centre for customers


    CloudTutorial is an advanced knowledge base software. With the help of this software, you can create FAQ pages, SOPs, and help-desks to share information. It is a user-friendly platform with an easy learning curve.

    CloudTutorial provides a 14-day free trial for everyone. It has three pricing plans, and each comes with different benefits.

    • The Starter plan starts at 19$ per month and is ideal for small teams and startups that require their brand support site. 
    • The Growth plan starts at 49$ per month. It’s for growing businesses that want to scale their support efficiency.    
    • The Enterprise plan starts at 99$ per month. It’s for established brands with an extensive customer base and large teams. 

    Visit the CloudTutorial’s pricing plans to know more in-depth about the benefits that each one provides. 

    Here are some of the features that you will gain access to if you opt for this software. 

    • Categories and Sub-categories: CloudTutorial aims to make it easier for customers, employees, and team members to search for information. With this feature, searching for information will no longer waste anyone’s time. 
    • Add team members: You will need someone to manage documents, FAQs, help-desks and update them promptly, right? With this feature, you can add your team members and assign specific rights to handle all your information.   

    Visit CloudTutorial to know more about this platform’s features and what it can do for you.  


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  2. HelpNDoc

    HelpNDoc Logo

    Best used for generating multiple documentation formats from a single source


    HelpNDoc is a simple tool that comes without any extensive functionality that we see on Flare and RoboHelp. Published by IBE software, it costs approx $283.96 to get a single license with years worth of support and updates. 

    Although each version has its license, so for a newer version, you will need to purchase HelpNDoc again to get updates and assistance. 


    Here are some of the features you will gain access to if you opt for this tool. 

    • Generate HTML and CHM documentation, PDF and word documents, EPUB, and responsive mobile sites. 
    • HelpNDoc supports both print and online technical documentation. 
    • You can export your content in different formats with a click of a button. 
    • You can create variables for reusable content. It will enable you to update the specific content by using the variable. 

    However, HelpNDoc only runs on Windows. It does not support Mac OS and Linux. 


It’s a document processor created for writing and editing complex or large documents, including structured documents.

It helps the user understand the features and capability of any application program.


RoboHelp and Flare are excellent tools, no doubt about that, but ensure that you aren’t paying excessively for functionalities you don’t need.  

First, determine what kind of documentation process you will use, and can the authoring application edit text, data, or code? 

Can it provide input for the source text and output for the help documents? Does it have the capability to add indexes, content tables, or images? 

Ensure that the application you choose fulfills all these above functionalities.

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